Mooney Airplane Company has adjusted its product
offerings, and in a way that seems to be just what so many pilots
have asked for.
Essentially gone from the bottom of the lineup is
the Eagle (right). Its 'bare-bones' (for a Mooney) appeal and
reduced range just weren't catching on; most customers were
'optioning up' to nearly the level of the Ovation; and the new
Ovation 2 line is providing more airplane for a better value, says
Mooney's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Nicolas
Chabbert. He seems to be onto something, as sales of the Ovation 2
have picked up nicely, accounting for nearly one sale each
Ovation Lineup is Big News
The Ovation line also expanded upmarket, into the
Ovation 2 DX model (right). This classy speedster now includes one
of the best panels anywhere near its class, along with comfort
rivaling the best luxury cars' accoutrements. The Ovation 2 DX (DX
= Datalink eXtra) has additional equipment, including leather seats
(common to the standard Ovation), extra lighting, Garmin 430 and
530; plus a GTX 330 mode S Transponder; weather uplink capability
through its Garmin GDL 49 Nexrad link; hot wiring for Bose headsets
in the front seats; an Allied Signal KFC 225 Autopilot ("the
world's best autopilot," says Denver-area dealer "Mac" Mc Dowell)
and slaved HSI; dual battery; dual alternator, and even dual bus.
An oxygen system is optional; about 65-70% do select it.
The standard Ovation doesn't have all these features, allowing
buyers to choose their level of options. Compared to the DX model,
you'll notice there's no electric trim; no HSI; they've removed the
expensive electrically-driven standby vacuum system; and the
standard Ovation lacks the inner gear doors (which amounts to about
a 2kt cruise penalty). The Ovation doesn't have the Ovation DX's
dual alternator, or dual bus; but it does retain dual batteries.
All those items, though, can be added with a "premium
"You can option an Ovation up to a DX, but why
would you? For the ten grand difference [between the
comparably-equipped standard Ovation and the DX], you'd get a
$57,000 autopilot," says 'Mac.'
Mac continued, "What the standard Ovation does, is give you a
190kt (cruise) airplane at a price that's unbelievable (under
$300K). Compare it, say to the competition -- it's faster, and
costs $50,000 less -- not a bad deal. Plus, you can say, 'gear up!'
in the Mooney."
The 192-knot (cruise) of the DX, coupled with its 89
gallons of gas, gives an easy 6.5 hours endurance, yielding
1000+nm range, with NBAA IFR reserves (1 hr, 45 minutes). Mr.
Chabbert said, "That's a practical range, not maximum. It's really
fantastic, for this class of airplane."
...and the Bravo:
At the top end of the line is the Bravo 2 (right),
the best Mooney yet, garnering a respectable number of orders among
pilots who like to go fast (218 kts cruise at FL 230), without
getting into turbine technology, or multiple engines. "The Bravo is
simply the fastest single-engine piston-engined production airplane
available today -- or ever," Mac said. "It's for those who just
want the best." What's so special about it? Mac said, "I don't have
a really good word for the feeling -- it's just a 'muscular'
airplane." Huh? "For example, from 14,000 to, say, FL 200, you can
cruise climb at 1000 fpm." [Oh... OK.]
Eagle Still Available, Sort Of...
"The Eagle AT," Mr. Chabbert told us, "is still maintained for
training contracts." There's less expense involved, for a very
capable trainer or rental aircraft. "It has a slightly lighter
weight, and carries only 75 gallons." As for the Eagle's (standard)
lower horsepower rating: "The great majority of the past 65
Eagles have been modified to get the 260 hp back," Nicolas told
In any event, Mooney, looking so sad a year ago, has come a long
way; and it looks like it's come back in a big way,